KEY POINTS:
* Not every customer wants pizza or pasta every time so offering alternative items on the takeaway menu maximises your potential profit opportunity
* As an independent operator you have the flexibility of being able to modify your menu as needed to reflect customer tastes
* Some takeaway customers may also have specific dietary requirements which restrict their menu choices — another reason to offer a broad range of dishes
* Don’t feel restricted to Italian style cuisine like antipasto and parmigiana - you can also create dishes geared around contemporary Aussie cuisine, while still retaining a Mediterranean influence

ONE OF THE BENEFITS of being an independent pizza/pasta takeaway provider — as opposed to being part of a franchise chain — is your ability to modify the menu as needed to reflect customer tastes.
Unlike the big franchises, which are locked in to standardised menus necessitated by group ingredients procurement and supply chain economies of scale, as an independent you have far greater flexibility in being able to respond quickly to what your customers want.
So why not capitalise on the opportunity to modify your takeaway menu and, in doing so, broaden your potential profit opportunity?
Takeaway orders are frequently made by families or groups of friends enjoying an evening in each other’s company and not everyone in that group is necessarily going to want pizza or pasta every time.
By complementing your takeaway pizza and pasta menu with a broader variety of sides and alternative dishes, you’re more likely to have dishes that appeal to a broader variety of tastes.
It’s also important not to overlook the probability that some takeaway orders will be from customers who have specific dietary requirements which necessarily restrict their menu choices.
For example, a takeaway customer following a gluten free diet may be unable to eat your pizza or pasta meals (unless you offer gluten free pizza bases and gluten free pasta), but might be looking for a more substantial main meal alternative than a simple salad.
Offering a wider range of sides and alternatives also provides opportunities for additional sales — as takeaway customers may start out by ordering pizza, then add further dishes as starters or entrée items.
Therefore, you should ensure your takeaway menu — even if themed around Italian style cuisine — features meals which appeal to a broad customer base.
All it takes is a little imagination (and perhaps some research!) to come up with fabulous takeaway menu additions which will complement your standard pizza and pasta offerings.
The broader your menu offering, the bigger a point of difference you can offer — especially when compared to the big franchise chains, which don’t have the flexibility to make short-term takeaway menu additions without extensive planning.
Just as many pizzamakers are creating new recipes and topping choices to evoke a contemporary Australian approach to pizza, so you can expand the takeaway menu to include popular meal styles and flavours that are always a hit with Australian diners.
For example you can take advantage of our nation’s love affair with fresh seafood to include Salt and Pepper Calamari or King Prawns cooked in garlic and olive oil, drizzled with a fresh aioli to hark back to a Mediterranean influence.
You can further expand your takeway menu sides by including such tasty options as Greek salad, Caesar salad with prawn or chicken, and fresh sauteed greens or roasted garlic mushrooms.
The more extra options you can offer, the better the chance that there’s something for everyone!
expanding your menu
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